Top three HR challenges for 2016

What will be the biggest difficulties for HR in 2016? HRD sits down with one of Singapore’s leading HR experts to find out

Top three HR challenges for 2016
With 2015 drawing to a close, what will the next year be like for HR in Singapore? HRD asked Dr. Jeannine Hertel, chief operating officer at HR consulting firm Mercuri Urval, what she thought the top challenges facing HR would be in 2016.
1. Building local leadership in the ASEAN region
“One thing that we can see is there is a massive need and desire to improve the quality and the capabilities of talent, specifically leadership talent, in the region” Hertel said.
This especially occurs in the surrounding ASEAN nations where regional HRDs experience gaps in local leadership competencies that prevent the forming of a fully mature organisation, she added.
“The growth to mature organisations will require proper leadership, talent management and succession planning. This means the company can cope with business growth and quickly changing market requirements by having the right people in place.”
She suggested HRDs implement a tailor-made talent management approach for the emerging markets in the ASEAN countries, aligning the leadership of the company with customer needs.
2. Establishing in-house recruitment teams
“Unfortunately the efforts of many larger companies to build an in-house recruitment team have not proved exciting. We can sense a good amount of disappointment there,” Hertel said.
While firms expect more cost effective and strategic recruiting through the establishment of these teams, this was often not the case, she said. This often stems from mismanaged expectations of the in-house recruitment teams and the difficulty in finding and training people for these roles.
“The question for 2016 is first why does in-sourcing of recruitment not work out as desired and then what can be done to improve the approach?” she said.
“Companies should bring in the right competencies, set clear expectations and align the in-house recruiters closely to the business and its needs. You need a close connection between the in-house recruiting team and the business.”
3. Producing value-adding HR analytics
“Many companies unfortunately lose out on valuable insights with regards to their HR initiatives and talent capabilities by not using the data that could be available,” Hertel said.
Having the right information is vital to making HR an impactful business partner along the company’s value chain.
“When I talk about HR analytics as a trend for 2016, it’s something that should be in place,” she said.
Once analytics are integrated into an organisational portfolio, HR activities rolled out globally can be examined and customised to fit regional requirements. As the business learns from the data, success stories can be replicated more easily, Hertel added.
“Knowledge of the impact, results and consequences of HR initiatives are crucial in the APAC region due to the demanding and fast growing emerging markets here.”
“The challenge lies very much in how I design that function. How do I do HR analytics and how can I get the right value out of it?”
For those with internal analytics teams, Hertel said the challenge was providing the right attention and weight to the team. Only then could it become useful and, in the proper context, support the organisation’s growth.
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